Thursday, May 11, 2006

Movies opening this week

Art School Confidential (Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, dir. Terry Zwigoff)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
The reviews for this have been mostly negative, so my expectations were lowered, but I loved Ghost World so much that I was still disappointed that Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes didn't come up with something better for the follow-up. It's sort of ironic that their last movie did a great job of showing the complexity behind certain stereotypical characters, while this film just embraces stereotypes for cheap laughs. Not that I didn't laugh a couple of times, but it was rather reluctantly. Opened limited May 5; wide release this week

Poseidon (Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss, dir. Wolfgang Petersen)
Petersen is one of the better directors of these bloated action spectacles, and has experience with disaster at sea movies (Das Boot, The Perfect Storm), but this one feels like he’s just going through the motions (it was rushed through production to be ready for summer release, so that might be one reason). He doesn’t waste time – the giant wave hits the cruise ship within 20 minutes of the movie starting – but that means we have little sense of who the characters are or why we should care whether they survive. Some of the set pieces are perfectly decent, but there isn’t much suspense since the plot is almost 100 percent predictable. And they still can’t make realistic looking waves with CGI. Overall, I’m sure the original is better (and I can say that with certainty even without having seen it). Wide release

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